Thursday, 26 May 2016

Global Indeterminacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 552):
Local indeterminacies of all these types are found in all regions of the content plane, either within one stratum or at the interface between one stratum and another (including of course puns, which are formed at the interface of content and expression). Some of them involve very general categories, and hence resonate across wide stretches of semantic space, like the transitive/ergative complementarity. We may call them "local", however, in contrast to one global form of indeterminacy which is a feature of the entire system of language, and probably of any evolved semiotic system, namely its probabilistic character.